For our most recent match on The World Cup of Food, pitting Afghan cuisine against Israeli, we tested the merits of each with a meatball soup. Afghan mashawa is a stew of legumes and small beef or lamb meatballs spiced subtly with cinnamon. Israeli gondi is a chicken soup with chicken and garbanzo bean flour dumplings, with a flavor a little like hummus. We liked one soup more than the other and have chosen one cuisine to advance in our competition at the other’s expense.
Afghan dishes on The World Cup of Food:
- Qabali Palau, Kabul-style pilaf with chicken (with Afghan cuisine overview)
- Mashawa, meatball and bean soup
Israeli dishes on The World Cup of Food:
- Gondi, chicken and garbanzo bean dumplings (with Israeli cuisine overview)
Mashawa’s combination of beans and split peas with simple little beef meatballs made for an interesting and tasty dinner we enjoyed, but it was no match for the gondi. The rich, homemade chicken broth and ground chicken and garbanzo bean flour dumplings (each with a good bit of turmeric giving color and flavor) was a hit. It was easy to make, high on the flavor, and made enough chicken for a week’s worth of lunches on top of it all.
That said, we choose winners here on The World Cup of Food based on the entirety of a cuisine, not just one dish. With that key point in mind, we have chosen…
…Afghanistan. Mainly on the strength of Qabali Palau, our first Afghan recipe featured here, it was not difficult to decide that we wanted to have at least one more turn with Afghan food. Afghanistan will face Mexico in the next round.